Sunday, November 4, 2012

A Ricky and Lucy Reunion In Asheville

Our next stop was, at the time of our visit, ablaze with gorgeous autumnal color and would, like our other vacay locales, later deal with the extreme effects of Hurricane Sandy and be covered in several inches of snow.  It was a lovely evening when we did arrive, though, and I was most excited to arrive in Asheville, North Carolina for various reasons.... 

Asheville is a very special town to me.  Both of my sisters lived here at one time in their lives and Keith and I also visited previously and remembered a lovely little visit touring the stunning Biltmore Estate; adoring our vegetarian hempnut burgers at Laughing Seed Cafe, strolling the aisles at Malaprops, one of my all-time favorite bookstores.  This magical little burg is a mix of many of my personally preferred attributes: a town of seemingly boundless creativity in every aspect that still pays great tribute to its history and all of it surrounded by majestic natural beauty.  How fitting that this would be the home of one of my favorite people; my dear friend Erica. 

I've spoken of Erica before; of how she's the niece of my friend Kaki; how I would be instantly enchanted by her 9-year-old self at her family's home in Boston many years ago; how she would decide then that I inexplicably resembled Ricky Ricardo and that we would then became Ricky and Lucy for life.  I would send her a rose from "Ricky" to her school when we left Boston and more than a decade later, she would appear at my father's funeral in West Virginia bearing a rose for me in return.  She once wrote a fascinating letter to me recounting the many dining rituals of Africa where she was serving in the Peace Corps that I posted on this blog.  I have said often and continue to believe she is one of those young people who give me great and powerful hope for the future.

We met at her workplace and favorite hangout Asheville Pizza and Brewing Company.  Erica gave us a tour of the facilities and let me just say this eccentric and awesome hangout and wicked-cool tribute to the movies would be my hangout too, if I lived near here. Tiles that serve as mini-film posters are everywhere, the walls are covered in cinematic memorabilia and the bathroom doors were adorned with life-size renderings of the Nic Cage and Holly Hunter characters from Coen Brothers classic Raising Arizona.   The theater was showing 3$ flicks and that night the girls were looking to make a later showing of Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom. What could possibly improve this way-cool movie house but house-brewed beer and excellent pizza?  Yes, that tasty Ninja Porter was a fine start and the pizza was indeed excellent: the Shear Delight came with pesto sauce, portobello mushrooms, walnuts, gorgonzola mushrooms and sesame-seed crust and we reveled in it.  Our girl Erica remains as delightful as ever and we also met her equally fabulous roommate Blake as well and they joined us for dinner.  It was a relatively quick catch-up before our decrepit behinds needed to shuffle off to the hotel and those darling girls were off to their flick. 

Lightning-quick that it was, even a small taste of Asheville and a short visit with the ever-enchanting Erica is tonic for my cynical soul. 


Anonymous said...

Love, love, love this! How I wish I could have been part of this reunion. Ricky and Lucy - together again! Imagine!!


Anonymous said...

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